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Money owed to farmers for unpaid grain deliveries made to bankrupt Express Grain tops $49 million

Friday, June 3, 2022, 12:59 pm News Flash Archive

A new analysis of court filings by The Taxpayers Channel has located additional farmers and other entities who are owed money for grain they delivered to Express Grain but for which they were never paid.

The new listing has 260 different parties, and totals $49.1 million. Our new report can be seen here: Consolidated Express Grain Money Owed to Farmers / Grain Providers

The Taxpayers Channel has done its best to remove any duplicate entries, but there may be a small number due to the use of different names for the farmers in the four different reports we analyzed.

Originally, EG provided a listing in its bankruptcy filings titled "Farmer Pre-petition Grain Payables," which reported unpaid grain deliveries of $31.4 million.

But when EG filed its "Grain Report" on November 17, 2021, the amount reported owed to farmers shot up to $40.8 million. See our original reporting here: Express Grain bankruptcy filings show more than $115 million in debts

Then, when the farmers filed their own claims against the estate, The Taxpayers Channel identified 137 farm producers who filed claims totaling $42.8 million. See our reporting here: Express Grain bankruptcy claims total $214.5 million

Later, we discovered that some of the farmers that appeared in EG's "Grain Report" hadn't filed their own claims (although their claims were protected by virtue of being listed in the Grain Report). By combining the Claims Register with the Grain Report, an additional 86 farmers owed $4.4 million in unpaid grain claims were found. See our reporting here: UMB Bank legal bill presented in sanction order against Don Barrett; $4.4 million more owed for grain

That would make a total of 223 grain producers owed $47.2 million by EG for unpaid grain deliveries.

But then the bankruptcy court held a hearing on May 3rd at which farmers were given a final chance to assert their claims, and to file their "Election Forms" declaring their choice in the grain settlement agreement. Notices of the hearing were mailed to all the farmer creditors who had not at that time filed any "Election Form."

In the list of farmers whose names were called out at the hearing but who did not attend, there were an additional 18 farmers who did not appear within the 223 farmers previously compiled by The Taxpayers Channel.

Some of them aren't owed any money, but were notified of the hearing in error. Others, which had not filed claims and did not appear on the Grain Report, were found in the original bankruptcy "Farmer Pre-petition Grain Payables" report. Others were located in the "557 Report" which EG also had filed.

After consolidating those two reports into the previous compilation, the consolidated report linked above was prepared, showing 260 grain providers owed $49.1 million.

Thus, there are four different lists that have been filed in court, and each of them differs from the others, with various farmers listed in all, several, or only one of these lists:

Farmer Pre-petition Grain Payables - $31.4 million
Grain Report - $40.7 million
557 Report - $43.2 million
Claims Register - $42.8 million

Of the 260 farmers found, only 66 of them appear on all four of these reports.

There are 7 farmers that only appear on the Farmer Pre-petition Grain Payables report.

There are 32 farmers that only appear on the Grain Report.

There are 25 farmers that only appear on the 557 Report.

There are 7 claims that only appear on the Claims Register.

There are 47 farmers who actually are owed money for delivered grain who have "defaulted," that is, they have not acted to preserve their claims by submitting an "Election Form" to inform the court which category they choose to be a part of in the settlement agreement. The money these 47 farmers are owed is $1.4 million.

Finally, 96 farmers have "disclaimed" the settlement. The money these farmers are owed is $30.5 million. By "disclaiming" the settlement, these farmers have renounced their claims to the grain they delivered to EG, and no longer contest their interest in that grain. These farmers intend to try their luck getting their money back from UMB Bank, which attorney Don Barrett has sued, claiming that the bank was in on a scheme to shanghai the farmers' unpaid grain deliveries, to pay off the $70.1 million that Express Grain owed the bank.

With so many farmers disclaiming their interests in the grain they delivered, and therefore not receiving any of the settlement money, that will mean that the $9.25 million will go further in paying the claims of those farmers who agreed to join the settlement agreement, which the court has approved.

To read all our coverage of the Express Grain bankruptcy case, see here: Index of Express Grain articles


John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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